Mariposa & Yosemite

New exhibit features photographs from Yosemite's first visitors

Yosemite National Park will unveil a new exhibit next week showing photographs from the park's earliest visitors. The exhibit, entitled "View & Visitors: The Yosemite Experience in the 19th Century," will open to the public on Wednesday, June 16. A free opening reception, with food and beverages, will be held Tuesday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Yosemite Valley Museum. The exhibit includes a historic hotel register, called the "Grand Register of Yo-Semite Valley," which was used at the Cosmopolitan Bathhouse and Saloon, located in Yosemite Valley from 1873 to 1884. The register is available for public viewing at an interactive kiosk featuring entries from visitors to Yosemite as early as 1873. It contains more than 18,000 signatures on 800 pages of entries, and weighs more than 100 pounds. Registrants include four presidents: Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes and James Garfield.

The exhibit also includes antique photographs and paintings of visitors, historic hotels, and the Yosemite landscape. Historic photographs will be shown through a digital slideshow, as well as displayed in protective cases. Early souvenirs, guidebooks, and other artifacts will also be featured.

The exhibit was made possible through a grant from The Yosemite Conservancy, as well as funding from the National Park Service.

The Yosemite Museum is located in Yosemite Valley next to the Visitor Center. The exhibit will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.